Vatican-Rome : Mother Teresa’s Canonization in 2016 Only Hypothetical, says Vatican

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Despite reports in the media worldwide that Blessed Teresa of Kolkata’s canonization has been set for Sept. 4, 2016, a Vatican spokesman says the date is only hypothetical and cannot be confirmed. Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi issued a statement Tuesday in response to media reports that the founder of the Missionaries of Charity, who worked among the poorest of the poor, would be canonized before the end of the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy.

“It is a working hypothesis, therefore there is no official confirmation to be given,” Lombardi said. “The cause for Mother Teresa is still underway and it is therefore premature to speak of an already established date for the canonization.” But Italian media have reported that Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, told Rome’s municipal officials that Mother Teresa’s canonization has been set for Sept. 4, 2016. Fisichella’s office is organizing the Holy Year of Mercy, which will begin Dec. 8.


Less than two weeks earlier, at May 5 news conference at the Vatican, Fisichella did not confirm a canonization date for Mother Teresa, saying only that the canonization was hoped for. Officially, a second miracle still must be approved to open the way for Mother Teresa’s canonization. However, Pope Francis has previously waived steps required for sainthood for other holy men and women.

Canonizations that are approved without meeting all of the requirements set by church norms are called equivalent or equipollent canonizations. Pope Francis has approved at least seven equivalent canonizations during his two-year pontificate: Angela Foligno, Peter Faber, Jose de Anchieta, Marie of the Incarnation, Francois de Laval, Joseph Vaz and Junipero Serra.

Pope John Paul II had already made an exception to the rules in Mother Teresa’s case by allowing her cause for beatification to be opened without waiting the usual five years after a candidate’s death.

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